What Is an Endodontist vs Periodontist?

To ensure that you have the best care for your whole mouth, the dental profession has several specialists who can treat complex cases or specific parts of the mouth. Unfortunately, for patients, the number of specialists can be dizzying. At Lowry Endodontics, we’ve created this guide to compare an endodontist vs periodontist and when you need to see each.

Endodontist vs Periodontist: Differences and Similarities

Deciding whether to visit an endodontist vs periodontist starts with understanding exactly what each professional does. Additionally, understanding their education and training requirements will give you a better appreciation for their work and how they differ from general dentists. Let’s delve more into endodontist vs periodontist.


Both endodontists and periodontists have specialized expertise in working on different parts of the mouth.  Endodontists and Periodontists need to go to dental school first after getting undergraduate degrees.  After obtaining the dental degrees, they receive an additional 2-3 years of specialty training. 

Going to dental school provides a firm foundation in oral health and diagnosis.  The additional training builds upon the foundation and makes these specialists qualified to manage complex cases.  

Endodontists specialize in managing tooth pain and infection coming from the inside of the tooth.  Periodontists focus their extra training on gum inflammation, gum diseases, and treating these issues.

Focus of Endodontists

The term “endodontist” starts with the prefix “endo-,” which means inside. The portion of the word “dont” means tooth. Therefore, an endodontist is a specialist who works on the inside of the tooth.  An endodontist treats the inside of the tooth when it is the source of pain or infection.

Endodontists have the additional training, experience, and equipment to save teeth that might otherwise require removal and replacement. 

Focus of Periodontists

Periodontists focus their work on bone loss and gums. They also can extract teeth and place dental implants.  They learn about periodontal disease and treating complex cases of gum disease.

Periodontists can perform both cosmetic and restorative gum care procedures. For example, dental crown lengthening improves the appearance of the mouth by correcting a “gummy” smile. Scaling and root planing can treat and prevent periodontal disease by cleaning deeply into the pockets around the teeth.

When to See an Endodontist

An endodontist can diagnose and treat problems inside the teeth. Therefore, there are several times when you may need to see this specialist.

First, if you have severe pain or an infection, make an appointment with an endodontist like Dr. Karmali.  He has the latest advanced technology to give you an accurate diagnosis and a predictable treatment.  He also takes the time to educate you on the condition of your tooth and discuss all of the different treatment options.  Helping you make the right decision for your unique situation is a priority.  

Secondly, if you have fractured or cracked a tooth, root canal treatment might save your tooth from extraction. Breaks in the surface of the tooth allow germs to get into the intricate root canals.  Anytime bacteria enter this space, they could lead to inflammation and infection of the nerve.  Cracked and fractured teeth are often extracted.  Depending upon the extent of the crack, a lot can be predictably saved.  A careful evaluation with a 3D scan can take the guesswork out of a big decision.  

Third, if you have a tooth that is recommended for extraction, and you are uncertain, get a second opinion.  Even if a tooth has had root canal treatment in the past, the tooth can often be fixed and saved. 

When it comes to treating patients at Lowry Endodontics, we work with patients who want and need a very high level of specialty care. Every day, we save teeth that other dental professionals planned to extract. Our professionalism is well-known throughout the region, bringing us patients from all over the state of Colorado and beyond.  

When to See a Periodontist

Usually, you will go to your general dentist and their in-office hygienist for standard dental cleanings. These cleanings, though, are preventative and don’t necessarily treat deeper problems or advanced gum disease. If you need deep cleanings below the gum line or have gum disease or bone problems, you will likely need to see a periodontist.

Periodontists can perform surgery for patients who need it, such as crown lengthening, pocket reduction, or plastic surgery on the gums. They can also pull teeth and replace them with dental implants if needed.  Dr. Karmali works closely with the region’s top Periodontists in determining if compromised teeth can be saved.  

The Importance of Having a Whole Team of Dental Professionals for Your Oral Care Needs

In medicine, there is a team of specialists and subspecialists to help you stay healthy.  Dentistry is the same.  You need an entire team of dental experts working together to ensure that you have a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums. The members of this team will depend on your oral health needs. Not everyone will need to see a periodontist regularly or an endodontist.  If you do need specialty care, please know that there are specialists to help. 

The first expert you work with is your general dentist.  You see your general dentist most frequently.  Your general dentist does your exams, cleanings and fixes cavities.  They are the experts at restoring your teeth and catching problems early. 

If you have gum disease or need a dental implant, you may visit a periodontist. They can perform deep cleanings of the gums to save your teeth or place implants to replace missing teeth. 

If you have tooth pain or infection, you will need an endodontist. Endodontists can help you keep your teeth for a lifetime.  

Your whole mouth needs care from multiple dental experts.  Having a trusted general dentist who works with the very best dental specialists is important.  Dr. Karmali works with dentists and patients who want a very high level of specialty care.  

Reach Out to Lowry Endodontics for Your Endodontic Partner on Your Dental Care Team

Having an endodontist to turn to when you need treatment gives you peace of mind.  Lowry Endodontics serves patients in Denver, CO, and beyond.  If you are coming from out of state, please let us know so that we can best facilitate your care.  Dr. Karmali provides patients with the most technologically advanced care in a calm and compassionate environment.  Contact us for an appointment.  We would be happy to help you with your questions.